Weekes wishes her successor all the best and leaving with no regrets

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Weekes wishes her successor all the best and leaving with no regrets

President Paula-Mae Weekes said she wishes her successor all the best and expressed her hope for a more inclusive nation.

Speaking in a Tobago Channel 5 interview yesterday, Weekes said there were some things she was unable to accomplish during her time in office, however, she has no regrets.

She said it is too soon to speak about her legacy but she is confident she answered the call to serve the country.

“I said, okay, well you have five more years in you to do national service, and that’s what I did. So, I have absolutely no regrets. I’ve had an opportunity only five people other than I, up to now, have been able to do and it was a most interesting experience,” she said.

President Weekes said there were a few things she had hoped to progress with, including making the President’s role more public.

“I had really hoped that I would have been able to have whipped President’s House into the foremost public office in the country. That has not come to pass for many reasons, but I dare say, I think we have made some headway. There has been some improvement,” she said.

“Now, I think it would surprise people to know that President’s House operates in terms of financial affairs just like every other government office so, there’s a vote, we have heads. Money can only be spent under a specific head and there was no head that allowed us to spend the amount of money we needed. So, I am sorry that I will be leaving office without having got that education programme off the ground,” she said.

During her presidency she received letters from citizens. However, Weekes admitted that some of those letters disturbed her.

“I am very concerned, there seems to be a great deal of mental illness and instability among our population if we use the number of letters that we get and balance it against the letters written by let me say, those who appear to be rational on the face of it,” she said.

“There are a lot of people writing me who are mentally disturbed, whether or not that condition has been brought about by dealing with these troubles for so long that it has derailed them, or whether there were previous underlying problems that made them unable to cope.”

She added that there is also a lack of awareness among citizens of the roles and functions of the President, giving them expectations she was unable to meet.